CIFF, Unity College host films

Jan 20, 2013

Unity — The Camden International Film Festival’s CIFF Selects program is partnering with the Unity College Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities to present a series of free environmentally focused documentaries at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Unity's Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities on this winter and spring screening series," said Ben Fowlie, founder and director of the Camden International Film Festival. "It is the goal of our CIFF Selects series to provide audiences throughout the state the opportunity to experience cutting-edge documentary film. This collaboration was extremely special, because we were able to curate around the college's mission, highlighting new work with a focus on the environment or natural resources."

The first film in the series, "The Atomic States of America," will be screened at the UCCPA on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with director Don Argott.

In 2010, the United States approved the first new nuclear power plant in 32 years, heralding a “nuclear renaissance.” But that was before the Fukushima accident in Japan renewed a fierce public debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power.

"The Atomic States of America" journeys to nuclear reactor communities around the country to provide a comprehensive exploration of the history and impact to date of nuclear power, and to investigate the truths and myths about nuclear energy.

From the gates of Three Mile Island to the cooling ponds of Braidwood, Ill., the film introduces people who have been on the front lines of this issue for decades: community advocates, investigative journalists, renowned physicists, nuclear engineers, Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors and former government leaders.

Based in part on Kelly McMasters' book “Welcome to Shirley,” about growing up in the shadow of the Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, the film explores the evidence for serious health consequences documented by people living in Shirley, as well as near other nuclear facilities. Their concerns call into question who can be trusted to provide truthful information, and how much influence the nuclear industry has over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its decisions.

As the nation stands at the crossroads of a possible nuclear renaissance, "The Atomic States of America" inspires informed discussion on the safety, viability and future of nuclear power in the United States.

Additional film screenings include "Sun Come Up" and "Facing Climate Change" on Feb. 21 and "Chasing Ice" on March 14. Free admission is sponsored by the Unity College Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities. The UCCPA is located downtown at 42 Depot St. For more information call 948-7469 or visit uccpa.unity.edu.

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